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Traffic jams in paradise: study shows Honolulu traffic 2nd highest in nation 3 years in a row

Traffic jams in paradise: study shows Honolulu traffic 2nd highest in nation 3 years in a row

March 11, 2014

If you live in Honolulu or have visited in the past several years, you know that traffic can be challenging. According to a new survey, Honolulu motorists spent an average of 60 hours in traffic in 2013. The city has been voted the second highest in the nation–Los Angeles took the top spot–for traffic for the third year in a row.


According to KITV, Honolulu’s traffic problems have become very serious. In fact, the drivers experienced an 18 percent increase in hours spent in traffic congestion from the previous year. More traffic will certainly lead to driver frustration and may also lead to more car accidents as drivers sometimes do whatever it takes to get where they want to go – quickly.

Instead of being in traffic, KITV says that you could:

  • sleep for a full week
  • run 15 marathons
  • watch 30 University of Hawaii basketball games

That’s almost inconceivable. According to the INRIX National Traffic Scorecard Annual Report, a simple trip from Waikele to Honolulu on the H-1 wastes about two days of traffic time per year. The worst freeway corridor in Honolulu stretched from Aolele Street to Moanalua Road. Moanalua Freeway heading eastbound at Middle Street to the H-1 Freeway at Ward Avenue was the second worst corridor in Honolulu.

So, why so much traffic? There are many differing opinions. Some say that Honolulu’s tourist industry simply brings an onslaught of extra cars to the area. Others say that the problem is physical volume. Cars are simply too big and roads are too small.

What other cities made the list? Here’s the top 10, along with total annual hours wasted in traffic:

  1. Los Angeles (64 hours, up 5 hours from 2012)
  2. Honolulu (60 hours, up 10 hours from 2012)
  3. San Francisco (56 hours, up 7 hours from 2012)
  4. Austin (41 hours, up 3 hours from 2012)
  5. New York (53 hours, up 3 hours from 2012)
  6. Bridgeport (42 hours, up 3 hours from 2012)
  7. San Jose (35 hours, up 4 hours from 2012)
  8. Seattle (37 hours, up 2 hours from 2012)
  9. Boston (38 hours, up 7 hours from 2012)

10. Washington, D.C. (40 hours, down 1 hour from 2012)


Here are some things to avoid when you’re stuck in traffic:

  • Texting. Unless you’re at a complete stop on the freeway and your car is in park, avoid texting or doing anything that takes your eyes off the road. In most traffic situations, drivers tend to follow the person in front of them more closely than they would traveling at normal speeds. So, that two second text can mean hitting the car in front of you – creating even more traffic.
  • “That guy.” Although you may be patiently waiting for a traffic jam to open up, there’s always “that guy” who will attempt to drive past everyone in the breakdown lane. Whether he’s simply trying to get off at the next exit (or just wants to get ahead of everyone else), opening your car door or getting out of the car can be dangerous.
  • Getting Out Of Line. Many people stuck in traffic look for ways to physically get out of line. However, their behavior can become literal when they attempt to cross medians and continually change lanes.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, contact an experienced Hawaii car accident lawyer to analyze your situation and determine whether you might be entitled to damages such as medical bills, lost income and more.

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